Le pacte du silence (2003) Poster

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john-broadway13 December 2003
A little surprised about some of the negative comments this little gem has received. Still we all have different tastes and expectations.

Personally I found this a delightful film to participate in - yes nearly everything is 'telegraphed' and the mid-story turn points and ending are highly predictable.

It's a story simply told, well acted and directed. I would even go as far to say that you could watch this film in its native language with little or no knowledge of French and without using subtitles* and understand it all.

* The English translation is particularly good and uses common expression rather than the more formal in keeping with the original dialogue - thus it tends to be more European English than American English.

Like a lot of European films it is filmed as a snapshot of real life - at no time do you have to suspend your belief. The story is simply an amalgam of real documented events.

If you like films crafted as Art then this will probably appeal to you. Switch of the phone, put the kids to bed, open a bottle of red wine and chill-out.

The soundtrack is particularly good and cues the emotions and actions perfectly.

Watch the film to its real end. - Under the end credits.
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two murders too much and one forgotten detail
btodorov18 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The entangled story gets completely confused in the end when the director purposefully mingles things and leaves us undecided who killed whom (and why). The two twins simultaneously kill the reporter and the mother of the convent. But actually why? The two murders are not essential for the development of the plot and cannot be explained with the previous deeds of the girls, since it shows out that the convicted one was in fact innocent. The twins were not addicted murderers, they suddenly decide to become ones at their reunion - what for? And then, why the scar? When examining the sick nun Joachim saw a stitch-scar on her belly - the only purpose this scar may have fulfilled is to help the spectator identify which of the two twins survived in the end. But then, confused in his own complications of the plot, the director forgot about the scar and left us to wonder which of the two girls the defrocked priest married.
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With A Better Conclusion, It Would Be an Excellent Movie
claudio_carvalho26 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
In the interior of Brazil, the French sister Sarah (Élodie Bouchez) has a mysterious pain in her stomach and the French priest and doctor Joachim (Gérard Depardieu) treats her. Joachim has a past as a violent man, who found in the church the necessary peace for his life. However, Sarah is removed from the hospital by Mère Emmanuelle (Carmen Maura) and brought back to France. Joachim gets interested in the mystery around Sarah and performs an investigation. He realizes that she has a twin sister, arrested for killing a baby about fifteen years ago. As far as Joachim goes further in his investigation, he notes that there are many lies hidden behind the official story. In order to avoid spoilers, I will not make any further comments. This story having a better conclusion would be an excellent movie. There are some flaws in the script, like for example, Emmanuelle does not allow that a priest doctor treats Sarah, but gets her to the macumba. It sounds to me totally non-sense. I would like to know where this movie was shot. Was it indeed in Ceará? The pronunciation in Portuguese seems to be from Portugal, with the exception to the customhouse guard. The gorgeous actress Élodie Bouchez is unknown for me, but she has a great performance in her double role. Gérard Depardieu is great as usual. I regret only the disappointing end, since the plot deserved a better conclusion. Anyway, a good entertainment. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): `Pacto de Silêncio' (`Pact of Silence')
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The Pact of the Twins
robert-temple-113 March 2009
Films about identical twins are always interesting, especially when they are so gorgeous your two eyes are out on stalks looking both ways at once. Elodie Bouchez is my idea of the kind of twin I would like to have all round me, what a gal! That is the kind of double-vision we would all like to have all the time! In the story, the twins have had a hard time of it, one locked up in prison for a murder ostensibly committed at the age of 14, and the other locked up in a hideously fundamentalist Carmelite nunnery (don't you just hate all that Catholic masochism stuff?) Carmen Maura plays a mother superior who is in love with the twin who is the nun, and she is very convincing. Into this mix steps a priest named Father Joachim, played by Gerard Depardieu. He is extraordinarily good at this, despite the fact that we know in real life he is one of France's leading bon viveurs. Strangely, in this role we do not really expect him to pick up a wine bottle and drink it all in one go, or wipe his lips after having had some snails. Instead, we really believe that he is that ascetic renegade priest 'with a past'. When he gets sacked by the horrible hypocritical Monseigneur, we want to cheer because he is free of the crap and now has time to take more interest in - which twin is it? Well, there's the problem. Even he loses track of which twin it is. Each one feels the other's pain, and there is a strong paranormal element with the story, and the twins are in constant telepathic contact. This is a very intriguing and gripping tale, well made, and with the performances of Elodie Bouchez being so spell-binding (her allure is indefinable, which is what all allure should be, but it has a spiritual dimension) that this is one of those really good gripping French movies that we wish they made so many more of.
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froboz1 August 2009
A slow mystery thriller, seriously underestimated. Comments here about plot holes and unresolved issues rather show that some viewers missed clues and did not catch onto what was going on. Very pretty girl playing the twin(s). Ah, what lips. Not by any means a masterpiece, but anyway a great little thriller. At first the movie seemed to be something as rare as a genuine catholic drama, but the various themes were not developed in a religious fashion. Still the same theme appears in dozens of configurations, as if the author was wrestling with the same moral dilemma in ever character and plot structure: helpfulness in it's various guises, sometimes as sacrifice, sometimes as but the false shell of selfishness. This occurs not only in the main characters, but in virtually every minor act too, from journalists over fellow inmates to high priests and nuns. The main characters development is as I mentioned certainly not catholic, rather they discover to abandon the vain failure of self-sacrifice and Samaritan ambitions, and that to do real good you have to accept your own desires.
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Nice acting , bad direction over all
saulo0724 April 2005
I've seen this movie and I enjoyed the whole idea. I agree with most comments regarding the way this movie was directed, a bit loosely I must add, but with great and trust able acting by Depardieu and Elodie Bouchez (Elodie has been in my all time french actresses list for a long time now).

A bit of a complaint, is the locations. In any moments you see REAL Brazilian locations in this movie, although in its plot most action takes place in some states here in Brazil. Some actors speak with Portuguese (from Portugal) accent, which sounds weird for a Brazilian like me...it would be something like, in the English language for example, a British actor acting like a guy from Kansas in the USA. No cars, no houses, even the beaches are quite different from ours. So that's the complaint...the credibility is lost regarding the place chosen to shoot the film.

Anyway you can watch this movie and enjoy two good actors and a nice chemistry between them.

PS. Some guy wrote that the country the reporter was sent was Peru. You got it wrong. It's BRAZIL.
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in this case the re-make will be better
dromasca8 March 2004
It is hard to believe how such good premises can lead to a poor film. The idea of the film is very good, although not completely original. A priest and doctor treats a nun, who is sick, and we can see soon that her sickness has para-normal causes. In fact, she is twin in fate (and health maybe) with her real twin sister who serves term for a childhood murder. Without entering further details, the confusion and inter-melding in the lives of the two could be the start of a very strong psychological and/or horror movie. Reality and dream, hidden relations between the twins, secrets of the past poisoning the present, a priest fighting to keep his faith - all these are good themes getting a poor treatment. The film also stars the mega-star of the French cinema Gerard Depardieu, as well as a very gifted actress Élodie Bouchez in the double role of the twins. The problem is that the film is that badly directed, that the viewer has to fight all the time with the confusion of the action, instead of being able to focus on the psychological development. In this case the European style of filming in realistic shots makes a de-service to the movie. The Hollywood re-make if it will come one day may be much better. 5/10 on my personal scale.
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Much Depardieu about nothing
=G=2 January 2005
In "Le Pacte du silence", Depardieu is a priest and a physician who is sent to tend to a beautiful young nun (Bouchez) who is suffering from abdominal pain. When he finds no cause for the pain and learns the nun's history and order are cloaked in secrecy he becomes suspicious and commits himself to unraveling the mystery behind the nun and her affliction. What ensues is a convoluted mess of a story which involves murder, voodoo, sympathetic physical manifestations, tragedy, and love. Though the film manages to sort itself out in the end and both Depardieu and Bouchez register solid performances, the story is obviously concocted, as difficult to follow as it is to swallow, and not as suspenseful as the musical score would have us believe. A so-so watch now on broadcast which will work best for Depardieu fans into mysteries involving the paranormal. (B-)
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Confusing thriller
Wizard-83 December 2015
I'm not sure why the Mill Creek Entertainment DVD company decided that this obscurity was worth a re-release on DVD, nor do I know why they put it in a 4 movie collection labelled "Hollywood Hits" - it's a French movie! All that aside, I thought that the movie was a pretty big disappointment. I guess the acting is okay, and the foreign settings give it a novel backdrop. Also, it does make you curious as to how it will end. But the movie is very confusing at times, playing out like it started at chapter two or three instead of the very beginning. As for the ending, I have to admit that I found it very unsatisfying - it's confusing as well. It doesn't help things much that the movie often has a flat and cheap look you would associate with a modestly budgeted European television show, so it's no surprise that the credits reveal that one of the participating companies was TF1. Though TF1 is a major French television network, this production is definitely minor in league.
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Not even worth showing.
turnerw-7570320 July 2019
I'm not sure why the Mill Creek Entertainment company decided to re release this horrible movie but it's not even worth the price of a ticket. Everything's foreign and not much action at all. All talk and hardly no action. Tonight it will face The Quiet. I'm don't even like the main actors as they cannot bring good enough performances to the screen.
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Decent idea and acting. Poor script and directing. Failed opportunity.
Bababooe6 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The idea of twins sharing pain, covering up a murder to protect their psycho mother, and the priest/doctor who is trying to help is fine. But the script is so convoluted and the direction is just plain garbage. Good acting by Gérard Depardieu and Élodie Bouchez. So the film is watchable. But while watching, waiting for the whole thing to make any sense, it does not deliver.

I saw this movie as part of a 8 movie dvd set. It was in French/Portuguese with English subtitles. I paid attention. But it didn't help. Here's some of the problems: 1, The priest keeps having flashbacks, someone getting beat up. This adds to nothing. Except to the confusion. 2, The Nun Twin is in Brazil, but that is not revealed until well into the film. Then they're in France. What's that all about? 3, Priest bumps into the Convict Twin in a church. Coincidence? Contrivance? 4, Priest and the Convict Twin watch over the priest's professor's kids while the professor's wife is having a baby. More contrivance? Artificial suspense? The priest knows the Twin was just released for murdering a kid. They arrive just in time when the professor is taking his wife to the hospital for the delivery and that they didn't have time to call a baby sitter for their other kids, and the Priest and the Twin show up just in time. Come on! 5, Who killed the journalist, and why? Was it to silence the info he found out about, or put a kill in the movie? 6, No clue that it was the mother that killed the baby. They just throw that info in at the end. 7, Who killed the mother superior, and why? Another contrivance for another kill? 8, The priest is suspended for forgery and disobedience and conveniently falls in love with the convict twin. Yes, she's a very pretty woman. But the whole set up was just ridiculous. 9, What's the deal with the voodoo scene? Just for visuals? What did that add to the plot? 10, Why did the mother superior refuse medical treatment for the Nun Twin, and why all the secrecy, and hiring some thugs to attack the priest? 11, The scene at the passport office was a failed attempt at suspense. 12, Did both or one of the twins jump off the building? And why? And did both twins survive or only one, if so which one? We don't know.

So, what we have here is a film that was made before some serious rewrites took place. The points I've outlined above are just some of the problems. If I was the producer I'm sure I would have found other holes. But some of the biggest issues are they do not explore too much the initial idea of identical twins who feel each other's pains. So, what is left is a film that is decently acted, filmed and edited with competent music. But forget about any type of logic and or suspense.

Rating is a C for a B movie. 4 stars, mostly for the acting.
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Goes downhill (possible spoilers)
jhs393 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Thriller about mystery surrounding twin sisters both played by gorgeous Elodie Bouchez, one a nun and one in prison, starts off interestingly but eventually becomes so ludicrous that it completely goes off the rails. I don't claim to be an expert on Carmelite nuns but somehow I can't picture fundamentalist Catholics participating in a voodoo ritual. The movie does a good job of establishing the mystery surrounding the girls and the seeming conspiracy by the nuns to cover up the one sister's past and prevent her from receiving medical treatment that might save her life. Unfortunately there turns out to be little rational reason for the nuns actions and no real conspiracy. Once Gerard Depardieu's priest character helps the ex-con sister break parole and smuggles her out of the country the movie starts to go downhill very quickly. While it's hard to believe that Depardieu's character would do this it's even more unlikely that a low level newspaper employee who isn't even a reporter would trail them to Peru. The solution to the mystery of the child's death raises the stakes of unbelievablility to such a high level that I was finally appalled to have wasted my time watching this crap.
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Gerard, Go Back To Being Martin Guerre...PLEASE!!!
jessepenitent15 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Luckily, I rented this from my library, so all I want back is the 99 minutes I wasted watching it. (Actually, I only wasted about an hour and 15 minutes, since I fast forwarded through everything that didn't have subtitles...and I was still bored.) It lacked character development. Plot development. Thematic development. Whatever it is you need to make a good thriller, the producer and director said "Oh, let's not do that..." and did the WRONG thing. It wasn't as if bad choices were made mistakenly, but deliberately. The narrative was painfully choppy, the English translation for the subtitles pitifully stilted (and wrong...at one point,according to the subtitles, the Monsignor tells Joachim the Reverend Mother doesn't trust him. In French, however, he says "She thinks you're the anti-Christ." Gerard Depardieu is a terrific actor but he just ain't priest material and it's been a long time since he (And Sean Connery and Harrison Ford and a few others) could play a believable romantic hero opposite a (much, much) younger actress. (Indeed, had this played over here, Sean Connery would be our priest and Lindsay Lohan would be the nun.) I don't know if the script can be blamed on the source novel, but I could not swallow Carmelite nuns at a voodoo ceremony any more than I could swallow the sudden and inexplicable love affair between Joachim and Gaelle. The ending was a gory mess and the efforts to blur the twins' identities was just silly.

A waste of time from start to finish. The only good part of this flick for anyone at MY home was that my cat got to sit on my lap and sleep for the hour and 15 minutes the movie played....

Look elsewhere.
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